Hello ladies and gentlemen, Muldoon here with an interesting look at the current state of the visual effects industry. I'll be honest, I don't post things unless they're something I care about (SATURDAY SHORTS is very near and dear to my heart as it's a simple platform for filmmakers, who've worked their butts off, to get their work out there), so here I am with an interesting film from director Scott Leberecht all wrapped around the death of VFX megahouse Rhythm & Hues. If you've ever been taken on a journey to distant worlds, watched a gorgeous living/breathing dinosaur hunt down a man, witnessed a talking animals, or... (you get the picture) then you've benefitted from some incredible work from some damn talented individuals who've slowly been getting the Hollywood shaft.
At a time when a single person can get a $70 Million dollar back-end bump on a film that's roughly 95% gorgeous CGI, perhaps it's time we all collectively stop and think about the folks who make it possible for us to explore the fantasies of a storyteller's imagination. No lie, I'm biased. I'm biased, because I grew up reading and watching all sorts of behind the scenes articles/featurettes/etc. and I've always been fascinated with the work that goes into a project, beyond that of the director/main cast... you know, the folks who get paid bank (*generalization) and do the bulk of press, because their faces are on the poster. At any rate, LIFE AFTER PI is a really kickass look into the deceased world of Rhythm & Hues and is quite honestly one of the best glimpses of how visual miracles are created, not with magic, but with thousands of hardworking artists sitting at their desks while chasing that carrot of promised financial security.
LIFE AFTER PI is a short documentary about Rhythm & Hues Studios, the L.A. based Visual Effects company that won an Academy Award for its groundbreaking work on "Life of Pi" -- just two weeks after declaring bankruptcy. The film explores rapidly changing forces impacting the global VFX community and the Film Industry as a whole.
This is only the first chapter of an upcoming feature-length documentary “Hollywood Ending,” that delves into the larger, complex challenges facing the US Film Industry and the many professionals working within it, whose fates and livelihood are intertwined.
DIRECTED/EDITED BY: Scott Leberecht
PRODUCED BY: Christina Lee Storm
GRIP/LIGHTING/SOUND: Brian Sorbo
CAMERA OPERATORS: Nick Thiesen, David Andrade, Nick Donel
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Missy Wiechers
MUSIC BY: Kays Alatrakchi
ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE: Jud Pratt
ILLUSTRATOR: Jesse Mesa Toves
PUBLICIST: Scot Byrd
WEBSITE DESIGN BY: Chris Dalton
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR: Matthew Lengyel
SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT: Yolanda Rodriguez
LEGAL SERVICES BY: Lincoln Bandlow, Lathrop & Gage, LLP AND Law Offices of Clifford Lo
The Filmmakers Wish to Thank Those Who Participated in the Filming of this Documentary: John Hughes, Keith Goldfarb, Lulu Simon, Jack Fulmer, Lois Anderson, Amanda Dague, Walt Jones, Scott Squires, Scott Ross, Saraswathi Vani Balgam, Lee Berger, Prashant Buyyala, Michael Conelly, Dave Rand, Matt Shumway, VFX Guy vs. Producer, Markus Kurtz, Bill Westenhofer, Mike Egan, and All R&Hers
Special Thanks To: Mike Meaker, Steve Storm, Scot Byrd, Kia Kiso, Jason Perr, Rick Young -- moviemachine.tv, PGA Rough Cuts West, Act One, Winnie Wong -- Momentous Insurance
The views and opinions expressed in this film are solely those of the filmmakers and do not represent and no way are affiliated with, sponsored, approved, or reflect the views of Rhythm & Hues, 34 X118 Holdings, Inc., Prana Animation Studios, or any of their respective affiliates or licensees.
UPDATE: I've been informed by VFX artist Andreas Jablonka that there is a protest planned during the Oscars. For more info on that, go here. No, I don't 200% endorse it, but if you're in the VFX industry and feel attending it is something that works for you, well I hope that link helps.
- Mike McCutchen